The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) removed a South China Honeylocust in Victoria Park and an Indian-rubber tree in Middle Bay Beach today (May 21) to safeguard the public. The trees were confirmed to have severely declined in health and were in danger of collapse following detailed inspections by department staff and analysis by members of the tree expert group.
Listed on the Register of Old and Valuable Trees (OVTs) with the registration number E/33, the 11-metre-tall South China Honeylocust was located at the south slope of the mound in Victoria Park. During a regular inspection in the middle of last year, the tree was found to have been attacked by fungi. Also, lots of dead branches, abnormal defoliation and dried bark were found on the tree. The department had taken remedial measures including trimming of dead branches and the crown, application of fungicide and insecticide, improvement of soil around the tree as well as paying attention to the irrigation pattern etc. However, the tree did not respond well to the treatment. Its main trunk cracked seriously and its bark peeled off, and its condition gradually deteriorated. Earlier this year, its root system was also found to be decaying.
Listed on the Register of OVTs with the registration number S/14, the 18-metre-tall Indian-rubber tree was located at Middle Bay Beach in the Southern District. The tree had been closely monitored by the department. Its leaves were found to be sparse and deteriorating, and its main trunk, branches and roots had signs of withering. The department used cables to stabilise the tree and trimmed its crown and dead branches. However, the tree gave no sign of recovery.
Following detailed inspections by department staff and analysis by the tree expert group, it was confirmed that the health of the two trees had deteriorated to such an extent that they posed a potential danger to the public. For the sake of public safety, the tree expert group endorsed the removal of the trees.
The LCSD stressed that it would continue to adopt a prudent approach in managing its trees. Removing a problematic tree would only be the last resort when there was no viable option to keep it.
Ends/Thursday, May 21, 2009